One might never know what caused a person to lose his or her hearing ability - (until he or she gets a diagnostic test done, of course). Because it might be due to any reason or condition and there are so many of them. It might be due to exposure to loud noises, due to some injury in the head and neck region, due to ageing, due to smoking, due to some health conditions and genetic reasons, or due to some viral infections - one among which is Otitis media.

 

What is Otitis Media?

Otitis media is an ear infection affecting the middle ear - the air-filled space behind the eardrum or tympanic membrane. In the condition, there is an inflammation of the middle ear which is usually associated with fluid build-up. It mainly affects infants and young children. The symptoms, severity, frequency and duration of Otitis media might vary.

 

Signs and Symptoms

Usually, there is nop pain or fever associated with Otitis media. So how can you tell if your child is suffering from the condition? Here’s a checklist to guide you.

  • Inattentiveness

  • Inappropriate speech and language development

  • Misunderstanding directions or instructions

  • Wanting to raise up the TV or radio volume

  • Unexplained irritability

  • Pulling or scratching at the ears

 

What are the Causes?

In children, the most common cause of the condition might be fluctuating conductive hearing loss. The other causes of Otitis media are -

  • Upper respiratory infections, like common cold, allergies, flu

  • Sinus infection

  • Smoking (even second-hand)

  • Drinking while laying down

  • Infected or enlarged adenoids (a mass of soft tissue behind the nasal cavity present in infants and gradually disappears with age)

Relation Between Otitis Media and Hearing Loss

Middle ear infections can affect the hearing abilities of children. Infections like Otitis Media might hamper the smooth conduction of sound waves from the outer ear to the inner ear via the middle ear. However, the condition is almost always temporary and doesn’t cause any permanent damage to hearing.

Link with Speech and Language Development

However, the sad news is if you avoid the condition and leave it thinking that it would heal naturally, then you would be doing the worst mistake of your life! If you don’t get a proper hearing loss treatment for your child suffering from Otitis media, then your child’s hearing problems might lead to impaired speech and language as a child learns communication skills only by the way of hearing. And even if you do get a proper hearing loss treatment later realising that your child’s speech and language development is way behind than his or her peers, then also he or she would not do it quite as naturally as the learning process should have been. Because there is a golden period in which a child learns particular developmental skills - including speech and language.

Therefore, going for a good hearing loss treatment for any of your child’s hearing problems is necessary. Consult a professional audiologist and secure your child’s future.